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setting the truss rod

joe*w

Member
Messages
193
Hey experts.

I took my '95 strat into a local guitar tech for it's first set up since I purchased it. I am the original owner.

He said there was basically no tension on the truss rod-which I believe because it looked like a banana and the action was super high. When I picked it up he said that he could not get the neck straight enough because the truss rod nut/bolt was all the way screwed in and the neck was still not correct. He said that he would need to put in a spacer in order to tighten it more. This would require some invasive work. I decided to try it out first and then return it if I felt it needed the extra work.

Question: When I took it in to him there was no fret buzz (probably because the neck was so curved). Now there is quite a bit of buzz. Wouldn't straightening out the neck cause even more buzz? I feel that if he were not able to straighten out the neck properly then fret buzz would not be an issue.

I do not know anything about setting up a guitar so I'm hoping you guys can offer some guidance. I have no reason to doubt my tech, but this doesn't make sense to me.

Thanks for your help guys.
 

B. Howard

Member
Messages
1,211
Too much or Too little relief (bow) in the neck will cause a bit of buzzing. There is a narrow window of adjustment here that will provide good action and clean playability and it is measured in thousandths of an inch.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
Did you let him finish the setup, or did you just take it back? It sounds like he noticed the problem with the rod, called you to figure out what you want to do, and then you picked it up. The setup might just be a bit wacky now.
 

zztomato

Senior Member
Messages
11,391
Too much relief will cause a lot of buzzing as you move up the neck. You set the relief and then the string hight at the 12th fret- or further up for some. Once that is done if there's too much relief you end up playing up a hill- so to speak- and your strings rattle against the upper frets.
 

joe*w

Member
Messages
193
Did you let him finish the setup, or did you just take it back? It sounds like he noticed the problem with the rod, called you to figure out what you want to do, and then you picked it up. The setup might just be a bit wacky now.
I did not let him finish. I'm taking it back tomorrow to let him do the extra work. I just thought that if the neck is still too bowed upwards that you should not get any buzz. I thought buzz occured when the neck was too straight or curved down or if the frets are different heights then there would be buzz. Before taking it in my neck was curved upwards like a banana and there was zero buzz. I'm worried that he did not dress my frets properly. He sanded them down quite a bit. Can they be accurately level if he couldn't get the neck straight?
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
I did not let him finish. I'm taking it back tomorrow to let him do the extra work. I just thought that if the neck is still too bowed upwards that you should not get any buzz. I thought buzz occured when the neck was too straight or curved down or if the frets are different heights then there would be buzz. Before taking it in my neck was curved upwards like a banana and there was zero buzz. I'm worried that he did not dress my frets properly. He sanded them down quite a bit. Can they be accurately level if he couldn't get the neck straight?
I'd personally take it back to him and give him a chance to finish and make it right. That's just my opinion. There's no way of knowing what state a guitar is in without seeing it personally, and the last thing anyone wants to do is get caught in the middle between a customer and a repair shop.
 

joe*w

Member
Messages
193
I'd personally take it back to him and give him a chance to finish and make it right. That's just my opinion. There's no way of knowing what state a guitar is in without seeing it personally, and the last thing anyone wants to do is get caught in the middle between a customer and a repair shop.
That's good advice and I actually emailed him yesterday to schedule a drop off time. I trust him. I just didn't want to ask him so he doesn't feel that I'm questioning his work.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
That's good advice and I actually emailed him yesterday to schedule a drop off time. I trust him. I just didn't want to ask him so he doesn't feel that I'm questioning his work.
Don't ever feel bad for asking questions. I like when my customers engage me and ask what I'm doing and how, and I can't speak for everyone but I think most business men prefer to have an informed customer.
 




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